An important service centre for the Tararua region, Dannevirke is a pleasant country town with a strong Scandinavian heritage.
Dannevirke is well-known for its Scandinavian heritage, which dates back to 1872 when 21 Danish and Norwegian families arrived to settle the district. The town’s cemeteries are of considerable historical importance, and the settlers’ cemetery attracts many visitors, as well as conducting a guided tour each year.
The town also has a proud Maori history, and at Makirikiri Marae you can admire the carvings at the Aotea Meeting House. In an ode to the town’s heritage, you’ll see a strong ‘Viking’ theme throughout.
The Gallery of History on Gordon Street is a 'must visit' in Dannevirke and offers a comprehensive display of the town's history from the 1870’s onwards.
The Dannevirke Domain on Christian Street hosts attractive gardens settled amongst 20 hectares of scenic tranquility. A children's playground (home to the iconic Viking Ship playground), small paddling pool, and skating rink are some of the facilities available to enjoy.
In the lower part of the domain, nestled within the urban boundaries, are the bird aviaries and deer park – as well as a pond where you can feed the ever-hungry ducks - the campgrounds are amongst this tranquil scenery.
Your visit will not be complete without a stop at the Fantasy Cave in the main street of Dannevirke. This unique attraction and its volunteers use a combination of the live animatronics and light displays to exhibit timeless nursery rhymes and children’s stories – an experience like no other that has been entertaining children and adults alike for 25 years.